Law School Discussion

Honor code violation - totally screwed?

Honor code violation - totally screwed?
« on: August 10, 2011, 09:44:05 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I am rising 3L and unfortunately did something really stupid.  My friend and I plagiarized a few paragraphs from a law review article for a paper we were working on separately.  We used different portions of the same article and got caught.  I know it was a terrible idea, but we were swamped with 3 papers and other issues.  None of that justifies what he did of course and the dean will be making a decision on Friday. However, I am considering dropping out because I know that it will cause serious issues with C&F and I don't want to sink another year's worth of time, effort, and money to get denied bar admission.  What is everyone's opinion? On a side note, I have a fantastic job lined up after graduation from my SA gig.  I feel like such a fool for taking a shortcut, but it's too late now. 

I am also pretty sure that I will be suspended for a semester at least.  I will have to factor in the additional living expenses as well.  Does anyone have personal experience/know people with academic misconduct and effect on bar admission?  My second question is how will it reflect on my transcripts if I choose to drop out? Will there be a note on my transcripts? I'm asking because I am going to try to apply for an MBA program if I choose to drop out.  I have great undergrad grades and GMAT scores as I planned to apply to both law and business schools 3 years ago.

PLEASE don't attack me, I know made a huge huge mistake and I cant stop kicking myself enough.  I don't need to feel worse.  At this point, I just want to do the most practical thing possible.

Re: Honor code violation - totally screwed?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 11:00:01 AM »
Sounds like you have not completed the disciplinary process yet - you will have a chance to plead your case.  First thing you need to do is fully educate yourself on the process and your rights.  Talk to your faculty advisor and get some guidance from him/her.  Do not start assuming things that will happen, a semester suspension seems extreme.  You may fail the assignment, and perhaps the class, then get put on double-secret probation or whatnot.  Don't start negotiating against yourself. 

There are 2 things you can do right now.  First, talk to the state Bar, explain the situation and ask them if this will preclude admission.  Second, there are law firms that specialize in dealing with bar admission/C&F problems, talk to one of them.  Perhaps run these by your advisor.

Re: Honor code violation - totally screwed?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 11:14:59 AM »
I forgot to mention that I met with the assistant dean to discuss this problem and she was rather emphatic that a semester suspension  and an F in the course is the norm, especially since the paper was my upper level writing requirement.  I was also asked to submit a letter describing what I did and pleading for lenience. 

I called the state bar and they were quite unhelpful.  They said that the determination would be made based on the circumstances and proof of rehabilitation.   I am looking for an attorney who specializes in bar admission problems and hope to speak with him/her soon.

Re: Honor code violation - totally screwed?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 11:34:49 AM »
This should not be you alone against the school.  Talk to your faculty advisor, get some counsel from an advocate within the school.  Where your advisor will not condone plagarism, it is not his job to punish you for it.  You need what you are going to school to become - an advocate... counsel.  Your best bet may be retaining an attorney to help you through the process.